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On Smoak and a major league deal

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Several folks, the past several days, have asked if Justin Smoak getting a major league deal would start his free agency/arbitration clock sooner.

The answer is, no.

It would mean that the player would have a spot on the 40 man roster, and would start burning options in 2009.

But free agency and arbitration eligibility is based on time in the majors (which, for what it is worth, includes time on the 15 or 60 day d.l.).  Getting a major league deal isn't going to change that.